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Latest Environment Stories
Lough Derg’s new canoe trail will be part of the ’slow tourism’ initiative for walking, cycling and boating routes in the Midlands
Aquatic Tourism
#Tourism - Boating in the Midlands’ waterways will be the focus of a major tourism push this year, as The Irish Times reports. Fáilte Ireland’s new ‘slow tourism’ initiative will concentrate on promoting existing walking and cycling greenways and ‘blueway’…
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan with Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Else Berit Eikeland on Thursday 23 February
Marine Science
#Research - A recent visit to the Marine Institute by the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Else Berit Eikeland was an opportunity to discuss marine research collaborations with a North Atlantic partner. That’s according to Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter…
Jeanie Johnston is 'open' for tours though not at the above berth of Custom House Quay. Instead the barque is at temporary southside berth beyond the Samuel Beckett bridge (also pictured) along Sir John Rogersons Quay.
Tall Ships
#ShiftingBerths – One of Dublin’s floating tourist visitor attractions on the Liffey, tallship Jeanie Johnston which reopened after a historic drydocking, has still yet to return to her customary city-centre berth, writes Jehan Ashmore. Jeanie Johnston a replica of a…
Sperm whales are not commonly found off Ireland’s East Coast
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The carcass of an 11-tonne sperm whale has washed up at Carnsore Point in Co Wexford, as the Gorey Guardian reports. The 8.5m whale — discovered by local man Davie Rea on the rocky shore at the end…
The first low-velocity tidal energy project in the world is of a commercial power plant array installed in Holyhead Deep off north-west Wales. Holyhead Deep is the name of a large depression in the seabed, located west of the the South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey where the ferryport of Holyhead is owned by Stena Line. They and Minesto are joint owners of the offshore energy project.
Power From the Sea
#HolyheadDeep -  Two Swedish-based companies have engaged in a joint project to invest in Wales’ transition to renewable energy. Minesto and Stena Line will build an assembly hall in the Port of Holyhead, which Minesto will utilise in their upcoming…
Irish Ferries has cancelled Swift sailings till this evening as Storm Ewan brings strong gusts to the Irish Sea
Ferry
#StormEwan - Hot on the heels of last week’s Storm Doris, there is further ferry disruption today (Sunday 26 February) as Storm Ewan brings strong gusts to the East Coast. Irish Ferries has cancelled its 8.45am and 2.30pm sailings from…
Méabh Ní Ghionnáin and Kaitlyn Dow with the unmanned sailboat that brought them together
Coastal Notes
#Lancer - An American high school student this week made the trip across the Atlantic to meet the Galway schoolgirl who found her marine science project mini-yacht last year. Kaitlyn Dow from Waterford High School in Connecticut met eight-year-old Méabh…
Coal-carrying cargoship, Jolanta which was a frequent caller to Belfast Harbour. The 99m ship however did not trade to ports on the Irish Sea or beyond?... So how could that be?... to find out the ship's destination (as pictured above) read below. Note yellow heavy machinery vehicle dozer on coal heap.
Belfast Lough
#CoalShip – A general cargoship that was a frequent caller to Belfast Harbour but did not depart to a port on the Irish Sea or for that matter beyond, so how could that be?, writes Jehan Ashmore. The answer to…
Bray Harbour Action say delay in dealing with sand build-up could leave the harbour as a 'permanent derelict eyesore'
Coastal Notes
Bray Harbour Action Group (BHAG), at its meeting on Tuesday 21st Feb, welcomed the report by District Manager Des O Brien to the Bray Municipal District meeting on 7th February as reported in the Bray People of 18th February here.…
Storm Doris has caused some ferry cancellations and delays on the Irish Sea today
Ferry
#StormDoris – Travel disruption due to Storm Doris has led to one of the largest ferries on the Irish Sea unable to enter Dublin Port due to the adverse weather conditions. An attempt however by the 44,000 gross tonnage Stena…
Carlow Tourism Industry Members Support Barrow Towpath Plans
Inland Waterways
#InlandWaters - Carlow Tourism board members were strong in their praise and support for the Barrow Towpath Development Project at their most recent meeting. Industry members noted that the project, spearheaded by Waterways Ireland, is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to develop…
An architect's image of the Maritime Museum & Archive Centre in Derry would look like in the Waterside area of the city
Coastal Notes
#MaritimeMuseum -  A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council has confirmed to Afloat that plans for creation of a Maritime Museum and Archive Centre is currently at the development stage. The project is being taken forward by Derry…
NEW ROUTE: Construction underway at Greenore, Co. Louth for a new cross-border car-ferry service due to open this summer on Carlingford Lough
Ferry
#NewRoute - A ferry service which has been long awaited between Greenore and Greencastle, linking both sides of Carlingford Lough, will launch early this summer, writes the Argus. 'Construction work has commenced and we're planning to have the ferry service…
This dolphin was found on the beach at Fenit, Co Kerry this past Wednesday
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Not even two months in and 2017 is already the worst year on record for whale and dolphin strandings, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). As of Friday 17 February, a whopping 56 cetacean standings…
Inland Fisheries Ireland Recruiting Temporary Research Staff
Jobs
#Jobs - Inland Fisheries Ireland’s R&D division has secured external funding to undertake a series of research projects, which are currently seeking to recruit a number of staff as research technicians and fisheries assistants. Interviews will take place in mid…
HISTORIC CALL: Newbuild Spirit of Rathlin, a six vehicle car-ferry carried out berthing-loading trials in Greystones Harbour yesterday.
Ferry
#HistoricCall – The first ever car-ferry to visit Greystones Harbour, Co. Wicklow made history when the Spirit of Rathlin carried out berthing vehicle-loading trials yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore. Spirit of Rathlin, a £2.8m ferry which was only launched last Autumn…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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